NextLevel Online: Romans

Session 10: Romans 12-13: Being the Church

Paul writes Romans for the church. Romans 12-16 is not just “practical advice for a successful life”; it is inspired wisdom for how to be the church or God’s people.


Classroom Instructions

Materials: Lesson Outline
  • As we get close to the end, let’s remember what we’ve learned: Romans…

    • 1-4: Explaining the gospel – by grace through faith in Jesus, just as he promised

    • 5-8: Exploring salvation – freedom from death, sin, law, life in Christ and Spirit

    • 9-11: Engaging a problem – despite Israel’s unbelief, God’s plan is working

    • 12-16: Encouraging the church

      • Basis: mercy

      • Goal: wisdom later: add love

      • Process: Obey. Think. And if we stopped here, we would be missing something absolutely necessary.

  • Paul does not write Romans to a bunch of individuals; he writes it to the church. Romans 12-16 is not just “practical advice for a successful life”; it is inspired wisdom for how to be the church. God’s purposes in the Old Testament centered on a community: Israel. And now that community has grown to adulthood and is defined not by ethnicity but by Jesus and faith. We are God’s people; we are the church. And we are a “we,” not just a you or me.

  • We compare and compete (12.3-8)

    • I don’t know who first said that the ground is level at the foot of the cross, but we forget this at our peril. Our eyes are to remain fixed on Christ. And the moment you find yourself looking down on someone, you’re no longer looking at Jesus.

    • I have no problem with healthy competition. If we ever play games together, I will try to win. But church is not a game. We are not playing a game; we are in a war. And in a war, you don’t compare and compete with your fellow soldiers.

    • No place in the church for this junk. We do not fight for our territory. We fight for the gospel, for sure. But we do not fight for me or my people. We support; we encourage; we work as a team.

  • We love some people (12.9-13.7)

    • What impresses me about this bit of Romans is the scope of those we are called to love. Paul includes everyone.

      • People who need us or whom we need.

      • People who are above and below us socially.

      • People who are mean to us.

      • In chapter 13, even people who rule over us get some love.

    • There are some specifics that you’ll have to study on your own, but Paul’s overall point is to show proper forms of love to different people. Love won’t always look the same, but we’ll have some of it for everyone.

I want to leave you with some questions. Simple, but hard. Do with them what you will:

  • Who do you not naturally love? (person, group)

  • Who are you looking down on?

  • With whom do you compare and compete?

Last thing: Hurting the church is a big deal. Don’t do it.

About NextLevel Online

The vision of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The mission of Ozark Christian College is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.